Let’s Analyze – PTSD Pre and Post Ketamine

Cred: boiseketamineclinic.com

I had my first trigger yesterday since I did Ketamine. I’m inclined to sort through the symptoms pre and post. What better way than to write it out. I’m aware we mostly keep our journals to ourselves. Trust me, I have a personal one. But there’s power in sharing, when you’ve lived with secrets for so long and as someone else most of your life.

I’ll describe what it was like to live with PTSD on a day-to-day basis. Not necessarily the episodes which I think we are all mostly familiar with. Such as panic attacks and anxiety. It’s sad how common these can be even for people who don’t have PTSD.

But daily, is another story. I woke up every morning with what I called a helmet around my brain. An intense pressure and thick shield that caused fog and distance from all ordinary senses: color, taste, hearing, smelling, touch; they were all dim. My eyes would open regrettably noting another day of existence. My entire body tingling with discomfort. Like a snake parading through my bloodstream. My heart, heavy. As if boulders were stacked on top of my chest just to make it that much harder to get up. And fear. You know that momentary scare you get when you almost get hit by a car or see your child in danger and run to his/her rescue? Imagine that immediate fight or flight fear constantly in you. Day after day, minute by minute. Waiting for something to just end you because you’ve convinced yourself it’s your destiny.

In a Nutshell

PTSD Symptoms:

  1. Depression – the weight on my heart
  2. Anxiety – the snake in my veins
  3. Panic Attacks – the episodes after being triggered by X
  4. Head Fog – the helmet
  5. Numbness – disconnection from what you think are your demons to adjust to social inquiries (work, personal, friends, etc… )
  6. Suicide Ideation – the fear taking over causing growth in want of ending it all. Wanting the symptoms gone overlaps with wanting your life to just end. It becomes the answer to solve all of these problems. It’s dangerous and your mind will push you to believe it on a daily. It just wants you to be safe and it thinks that death is the answer.
  7. Unreliable – the inability to make plans because you may be in the gutter on that day. Double edge sword. You feel guilty for not confirming and you feel guiltier for not making it. Adding to the worthless feeling of existence.

Symptoms that probably began for me in 2016 but were not diagnosed until 2017 by a psychologist.

***Side note: I must mention, I started working at Sedgwick in 2016. I was borderline a wreck but can now trace back to this job pushing me over the edge. The type of work made me feel extremely empty. That emotion opened a flood war and it made me feel worthless like when I was a little girl. I didn’t see it then. So, I stayed for two more years feeding into this corpse. And even after leaving, I went back to it a few months later thinking I could manage it. Only to be back in the hole just two months into the job again. I finally abandoned that life after realizing what it was doing to me in September of this year. It may not have been the cause, but it was the vehicle that was keeping me inside this prison. I had to get out and burn all connections to survive. And it’s the best decision I’ve made in a long time.***

Moving on to Yesterday and after Ketamine.

Just a day after the first Ketamine Shot:

  1. The fog has lifted. I felt a clear mind for the first time in years
  2. I can see again. The colors were vibrant. I felt like I was part of my surrounding and not trapped in them.
  3. The smells were overwhelming, even from far away. I could smell so strongly; it was both good and bad if you know what I mean LOL
  4. I felt the touch of just my hands as sacred. It was as if I was a newborn. Everything felt new and beautiful
  5. My heart was weightless
  6. My veins stopped vibrating with angst
  7. I still felt a little numb and that would not end until the 6th shot.
  8. My thoughts changed. It’s as if I had created only one pathway of thinking. And now I had hundreds. The sensations in my brain were twisted. I could feel movement up there. It was uncomfortable but I was told it was a normal symptom after these shots.
Cred: Awakening KC

I’d like to think what I felt was my brain constructing new pathways for the neurons to travel through thus creating new perspectives and enhancements.

Anyway, I’ve felt free of PTSD ever since. It’s been about two months and I’ve noticed I’ve been able to maintain the calm …. until yesterday.

Yesterday I was listening to a podcast, and they unexpectedly began talking about shame … it triggered an episode while I was cooking. I began crying and slowly placed the knife on the cutting board. I couldn’t move. I held the counters to hold myself up and let it pass. However, it wasn’t as intense as they usually are. Yes, I was crying and overwhelmed. And immobile. But I didn’t necessarily fear for my life, and I was taking deep breathes easily. My nervous system was not shocked, and it almost felt like a mild occurrence more than an “episode”.

Either way, it caused me to still mentally spiral after the fact. I took a long walk and listened to music. My negative thoughts crept in like they usually would after an episode. And I acknowledged them. It continued this way the rest of the day and it stopped my “schedule” for the day but. Although sad, I knew it would pass. And that today, the next day, would be new and different.

I still feel sensations in my brain. As if the pathways were trying to close up again but are working hard to stay open. And I’m trying my best to keep them open. Perspective and intention are powerful. I want to keep that power as long as I can. Prove to myself I’m not broken. Only redefined. Morphed into a more evolved You. Keeping all of these parts with me. The good and the bad. Reminding myself what I felt during each Ketamine Trip. That the Singularity point exists, and the truth remains the same: we are temporary and something else more powerful is our shelter. Life is a gift. Treat everyday like if you were just born and witnessing your senses for the first time ever. It now brings tears of joy and happiness. And whatever life throws at you, you can fix it the next day. Always.

M.